FSU Seal - 1851


    CIS 5935 Introduction to Research
    Fall Semester 2009


This class is scheduled as an online class only. Regular participation via the Blackboard [campus.fsu.edu] course interface is required. Official course announcements, lecture materials, assignments, and help archives will all be on-line at this site. Note that all registered students should have the course web site listed on their campus.fsu.edu portal page. Be sure to test this and resolve any difficulties no later than the first week of classes. All deliverables will be submitted via Blackboard.

All participation will be asynchronous using the Blackboard class site.


Chris Lacher, Computer Science Faculty
Responsibilities: Instructor: CS/SE Content, Writing; Course Supervisor  
Office: A-211-O Academic Center / Panama City Campus 
Office Phone (during office hours): 
(these all ring the same instrument)  
850-770-2256 (local direct line)
850-644-2090x2256 (local Tallahassee)
866-693-7872x2256 (toll free)
Mobile Phone & Voice Mail (24/7): 850-510-5575 
Email:  lacher@cs.fsu.edu
Mail & Delivery: Florida State University
4750 Collegiate Drive
Panama City, FL 32405-1099
Lacher Weekly Schedule Effective Aug 24 - Dec 11, 2009 (excluding Sep 7, Nov 11, and Nov 25-27)
Darby Syrkin, Library Faculty
Responsibilities: Instructor: Search, Databases, Form, Writing 
Office: Information Commons / Panama City Campus 
Office Phone (during office hours): 
(these all ring the same instrument)  
850-770-2244 (local direct line)
850-644-2090x2244 (local Tallahassee)
866-693-7872x2244 (toll free)
Email:  dsyrkin@pc.fsu.edu
Mail & Delivery: Florida State University
4750 Collegiate Drive
Panama City, FL 32405-1099
Contact the Library and Darby directly


This course introduces information research methods and writing standards for content research and publication in Computer Science and Software Engineering.


At the end of this course, the student should have the following skills, capabilities, and artifacts:

  • Describe steps necessary to conduct independent research in a given research area
  • Conduct library and internet research to create an annotated bibliography for the research area
  • Format a bibliography according to APA and discipline standards
  • Cite references into a bibliography conforming to APA and discipline standards
  • Write a narrative literature review of the research area, with citations into the bibliography
  • Propose research or innovation based on the literature review
  • Complete a proposal containing the literature review, proposed research or innovation, and annotated bibliography
  • Create and give a presentation based on background research and literature review
  • Create and give a presentation based on proposed innovations and literature review


  • Class Discussions: (10%) Students are expected to discuss their own ideas as well as those of other students in the class. Discussion will be held at the Blackboard course web site.
  • Assignments: (40%) Assignments involve deliverables documenting various steps and components in the literature and content research process. Assignments will be released via the course calendar.
  • Research Prospectus (50%) This is the capstone deliverable for the course, a written paper that introduces and explores an area for research. The paper should have these identifiable components:
    1. Annotated Bibliography: (10%)
    2. Narrative Literature Review: (20%)
    3. Innovation Proposal: (20%)


85-88 B+75-78 C+65-68 D+
91-100 A        81-84 B        71-74 C        61-64 D        0-58 F
89-90 A-79-80 B-69-70 C-59-60 D-

Note that for S/U grading in a graduate course: "S" is considered to be B or higher on the letter grade scale.


Aug 24 Introduction Aug 31 Research Topics Sep 7 Research Topics and Literature Research Sep 14 Literature Research 2 Sep 21 Literature Research 3 Sep 28 Literature Research 4 Oct 5 Internet Search and Evaluation Oct 12 Publishing Oct 19 Abstracts and Annotation Oct 26 Plagiarism and Ethics Nov 2 Literature Reviews Nov 9 Nov 16 Research Proposals Nov 23 Nov 30 Dec 7 Final Paper Due
Date      Topic / Activity
Aug 24Introduction
Aug 31Research Topics
Sep 7Research Topics and Literature Research
Sep 14Literature Research 2
Sep 21Literature Research 3
Sep 28Literature Research 4
Oct 5Internet Search and Evaluation
Oct 12Publishing
Oct 19Abstracts and Annotation
Oct 26Plagiarism and Ethics
Nov 2Literature Reviews
Nov 9 
Nov 16Research Proposals
Nov 23 
Nov 30 
Dec 7Final Paper Due

Note: Detailed content and assignments will be made available via the Course Calendar.


First Day Attendance Policy: Official university policy is that any student not attending the first class meeting will be automatically dropped from the class. For distance students, this policy is interpreted as posting to the discussion forum "First Day Attendance" no later than the first day of the semester.

Regular Attendance Policy: The university requires attendance in all classes. Attendance in distance classes shall mean regular access to the course web site via campus.fsu.edu and regular participation in the class discussion forums. Here, "regular" shall mean a substantial amount of time on a weekly basis. Note that individual access statistics are maintained by Blackboard.

Grade of 'I' Policy: The grade of 'I' will be assigned only under the following exceptional circumstances:

  • The final exam is missed with an accepted excuse for the absence. In this case, the final exam must be made up during the first two weeks of the following semester.
  • Due to an extended illness or other extraordinary circumstance, with appropriate documentation, the student is unable to participate in class for an extended period. In this case, arrangements must be made to make up the missed portion of the course prior to the end of the next semester.


The Florida State University Academic Honor Policy outlines the University’s expectations for the integrity of students’ academic work, the procedures for resolving alleged violations of those expectations, and the rights and responsibilities of students and faculty members throughout the process.  Students are responsible for reading the Academic Honor Policy and for living up to their pledge to “. . . be honest and truthful and . . . [to] strive for personal and institutional integrity at Florida State University.”  (Florida State University Academic Honor Policy, found at http://dof.fsu.edu/honorpolicy.htm.)

All students are expected to uphold the Academic Honor Policy. Please note the following items are defined and made violations by the policy:

  1. Plagiarism
  2. Cheating
  3. Unauthorized Group Work
  4. Fabrication, Falsification, and Misrepresentation
  5. Multiple Submission
  6. Abuse of Academic Materials
  7. Complicity in Academic Dishonesty
  8. Attempted ...

Violations of the academic honor policy may result in failing grades and/or dismissal from the university. All students are expected to read and understand the policy.

Turnitin.com: FSU subscribes to Turnitin.com, a database of papers that have been previously published or turned in for credit in university courses worldwide. Student work may be checked in the Turnitin database for originality. Note that turning in work that contains uncited quoted material from any source is considered plagiarism and a violation of the FSU honor code.


Students with disabilities needing academic accommodation should:
(1) register with and provide documentation to the Student Disability Resource Center; and
(2) bring a letter to the instructor indicating the need for accommodation and what type.  This should be done during the first week of class.

This syllabus and other class materials are available in alternative format upon request.

For more information about services available to FSU students with disabilities, contact the:

Student Disability Resource Center
97 Woodward Avenue, South
108 Student Services Building
Florida State University
Tallahassee, FL 32306-4167
(850) 644-9566 (voice)
(850) 644-8504 (TDD)

(This syllabus and other class materials are available in alternative format upon request.)


Information regarding the status of FSU in an emergency situation may be obtained from the following sources:

  • For information specific to the Panama City Campus go to the FSUPC web page at http://www.pc.fsu.edu/ or call the Campus Hotline number 850-770-2000
  • For information related to FSU in general and the Tallahassee Campus go to the FSU alerts web page at http://www.fsu.edu/~alerts/
  • For state-wide and national information, go to the Florida Division of Emergency Management information pages at http://www.floridadisaster.org/

Any specific information related to this class will be posted on the course web site or sent via email to your fsu email address.


This syllabus is a guide for the course and is subject to change with advanced notice. Such notice will be in the form of an announcement to the course web site on campus.fsu.edu.